Up From Down Below, by George Schuller, both on the GRM label. Ben also recorded and performed with the Boston Jazz Composer’s Orchestra.
In 1996, Ben toured Brazil with a production of the rock opera “Tommy”. While there he recorded a track for the Brazilian singer Oswaldo Montenegro, which was produced by the great bossa-nova legend Roberto Menescal. After returning from Brazil, Ben recorded Tudo Bem?, a Brazilian jazz record for BGI Records, and formed the group by the same name. TudoBem has toured in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and in 1999 performed at the Blue Note for a one month engagement in Fukuoka, Japan.
In 2000, Ben completed a two month world tour with the renowned Kurt Weil stylist Ute Lemper. Performances included the Montreux and Istanbul Jazz Festivals, the Berlin and Stockholm Philharmonias , and a TV recording for the Canadian Bravo channel. Ben has also appeared as a sideman on recordings by Todd Levin, for Polygram Records, and Daryl Katz, on Cadence Records.
Ben is also very involved in education. He is a Full Professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he has taught for twenty years. His courses include :
Guitar Labs: the Brazilian guitar style, Latin-fusion Guitat styles and the Guitar Styles of Grant Green and Pat Martino.
Guitar Ensembles: A Latin-Fusion and a Brazilian Guitar Ensemble
Small Combos: a Mixed Style Ensemble and a Rhythm Section Ensemble
Ben has given Masterclasses and Workshops throughout the East Coast and in Europe. Listed below are some of the schools where he has given Masterclasses.
New England Conservatory
The College of New Jersey
Appalachian State University
University of North Carolina Charlotte
University of North Carolina Asheville
The International schhol of Jazz and Rock Freiburg Germany
Berklee Colege of Music Valencia Spain
Ben Sher is a unique jazz guitarist. Fluent in the classic jazz tradition of Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, and George Benson, Ben also draws from the rich Brazilian guitar tradition of Baden Powell ,Raphael Rabello and Joao Gilberto. Ben combines standard jazz plectrum technique, with classical fingerstyle, to create a wide range of sounds and textures.
Ben has four recordings as a leader on BGI Records: Handprints, is contemporary mainstream jazz featuring the great drummer from the Hernbie Hancock and the Headhunter’s group Mike Clark, pianist Bruce Barth , and Dennis Irwin. TudoBem’ and “Please Take me to Brasil’ are Brazilian jazz featuring Ben’s group TudoBem and special guest Fred Hersch (on TudoBem) and Kenny Barron (on “Pleas Take Me…”). Go to http://www.bgirercords.com to hear excerpts from these recordings. In addition, Ben is a member of the group “Ballin-the Jack” a ‘downtown’ jazz group which bases it’s repetoire in the music of early Duke Ellington. Ben has recorded two cds with this group, “Jungle’, and “The Big Head”, both on Knitting Factory Records. (visit http://www.knittingfactory.com to find out more) The group has performed at the North Sea ,Marsala, and most recently the Berlin Jazz Festival.
A fifteen year veteran of the New York music scene, Ben is originally from Pittsburgh where he received his B.A. in Music from Carnegie-Mellon University, while studying with the great Brazilian classical guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima. Ben relocated to Boston in 1984 where he studied with Mick Goodrick, receiving a Master’s degree in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory in 1986. Before leaving Boston, Ben appeared on two recordings, Jumpin’ Into the Future, by Gunther Schuller, and Lookin’